Why do we make such little use of satellite imagery in TV forecasts?

Courtesy BBC

Why do we so little use made of the latest satellite imagery in our TV weather forecasts instead of relying so heavily on NWP pseudo fake weather composites? The BBC weather team don’t seem to mind in the slightest displaying Weather Watchers images taken from on the ground of the latest weather observed around the country, but they seem to have a strange aversion when it comes to displaying hi-res visible satellite imagery taken from space. Why is that? Possibly it’s because satellite imagery costs money and pictures from viewers are royalty free. The other big factor of ‘why not’ is that the latest satellite imagery show the reality of the situation, which can be quite different, and like this morning, is often out of step from how the NWP model sees things. It’s not just the Meteogroup and the BBC that are guilty of underusing satellite imagery, the UKMO are no better in this regard in their forecasts. Both organisations have an amazing resource in the sheer quantity and quality of satellite imagery that’s available these days, and I am sure that its widely used internally by both of them, so why for goodness sake don’t they make more use of it in their forecasts on TV?

Not a great example – and I should have added a coastal outline!

2 thoughts on “Why do we make such little use of satellite imagery in TV forecasts?”

  1. If the public were aware of satellite images they would use them. They wolud cut out the middle man, the forecaster.

    1. I think you’re right to a large extent.
      Ten years ago I saw how good rapid-scan hi-res visible satellite imagery was.
      In a convective situation it was fascinating to see just how quickly the cumulus cloud grew on an unstable day in summer.

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